The Cadillac Three (known as TC3) brought their Black Roses Tour to The Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, Kentucky. This was a night where memories were made for the fans as well as the band, with TC3 posting on social media that “Louisville wins the award for best crowd of the tour (so far)”. For the record, I have not seen an update to that award, so I am if right, at the time of this article, Louisville will still hold that title. If you are a newcomer to this high-energy, hard-hitting trio, consisting of Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason and Kelby Ray, there is a long history with these guys that have led them to this point in their career with a drove of hardcore, dedicated fans that, for the most part have been there from the beginning.
Before taking on the name The Cadillac Three, they originally formed as a rock group, with a fourth member Ben Brown, in 2005, called Bang Bang Bang and released their first album titled, I Shot The King. In 2006, after being signed by Warner Bros. Records, the band’s name was changed to American Bang, releasing an EP titled, Move To The Music in 2007 and a self-titled full length album with Reprise Records in 2010. It is difficult to believe now that this release failed to find an audience and no noteworthy success. At that time, Brown departed from the group to pursue a solo career, and the remaining trio of Johnston, Mason and Ray, changed the name of the band once again to Cadillac Black, and in 2012, released a debut self-titled album under the label Nobody Buys Records, and relentlessly toured, taking the supporting act slots with Lynard Skynard, Dierks Bentley and The Eli Young Band. Big Machine Records signed the trio in 2013, where the name was once again changed to the now known, The Cadillac Three.
While TC3 reissued their 2012 self-titled album, they were already working on new material under their new label home, releasing a single in 2013 titled “The South”, which featured guest appearances by Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Mike Eli (The Eli Young Band). This single was an anthem of sorts for the band, being that they are all born and bred out of Nashville, Tenne. and they are southern boys through and through. While the outlaw/southern rock genre has embraced them as one of their own, these guys have definitely found a home in the country genre as well. With follow-up singles like “Party Like You”, “White Lighting” and “Drunk Like You” they have continued to stay in the Top 40 on the country charts, where radio is concerned, along with sales rising over the 200 thousand mark, proving they have continued to keep their dedicated fans while earning a whole new audience that may have missed out had the changes not occurred along the way. Reminding us again, everything has a time and in there is a right time for everything. TC3’s time seems to be now and it does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. This genre of music and lifestyle tends to hold onto its own for many years after the peak of success as calculated by radio and labels. The fans do not so easily move on to the next new thing as loyalty runs deep within this family of bands and followers.
The latest album, titled Bury Me In My Boots, was released in August of 2016. “It’s just real songs, and I try to write about what nobody else is writing about at the time,” Johnston said in a recent interview when asked about the new music on this album “It’s country music, so a lot of people say the same things, and we touched on a lot of those things but with different ways of saying them. I’m real proud of it.” The album also contained the re-release of “The South” (featuring Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Mike Eli of The Eli Young Band).
TC3 are live performance beasts, extremely talented musicians and vocalists, respectively, however, they are also truly gifted songwriters. They have written or co-written all their own material. Johnston also wrote successful, chart-friendly songs for other artists such as “Your Gonna Fly” by Keith Urban, “Days Of Gold” by Jake Owen, and “Southern Girls” by Tim McGraw.
With a packed house at the Mercury Ballroom, the anticipation for TC3 was high. The trio came onto that stage as if they had something to prove, ready to come out swinging, which is exactly what they did. There are very few live acts that can come out on a stage, being only a three-piece band, guitarist, steel and drums, and make it sound as if there was a complete stage plot of instruments and background vocalists. They have an ability which is rare in the live concert scene today, which is, no pyro, no stage changes, no video show running in the back ground. No distractions from what you pay to see, just the band and their authentic selves, giving the fans a concert that they can remember. This was what every concert goer of “back in the day” loved about going to a concert. You get the experience of being in a room with some friends, with a couple of beers in hand, watching the band you hear on the radio in front of you. You hear the same quality of vocals, no auto-tuned up effects, no fancy production. Yet, what happens in those moments is magical. It is authentic, genuine and real. That is what an audience is craving so much these days. The fans want to feel a connection with the artists they love, they want to know that their ticket purchase means something to the band as well. It is my opinion that TC3 made it known to everyone in that room that they are appreciated. They are an extremely talented group of musicians that just make you remember what “real” feels like and makes you remember why you love going out to see a concert live.
Be sure to catch a show while they are out on tour. For all the information and links to their show schedule as well as social media links, check it out here.